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Guide to Fort Lauderdale for Families

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Fort Lauderdale has become one of the top destinations for family travel on the east coast of the United States. Its beaches and wildlife reserves provide a diverse breadth of outdoor fun, while its waterfront hotels and facilities sponsor youth-friendly recreation and parent-approved activities.

Good for
  • Family
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveller

10 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

Beaches, Parks

Tradewinds Park

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Parks, State Parks

Funky Fish Ocean Camp

Scuba & Snorkeling, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Funderdome

Game & Entertainment Centres

Sawgrass Recreation Park

Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks

Fern Forest Nature Center

Nature & Wildlife Areas

EZride Surf School

Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing

Billie Swamp Safari

Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris

De Leon Springs State Park

State Parks

Maddie S's City Tips

  • This area is known for dense traffic. Be alert and patient when driving, and plan your route ahead of time to pick the shortest route to your destination.
  • Tipping at restaurants in the area is generally 15-20% of your bill.
  • Be sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen and water. That Fort Lauderdale sun can get really hot.
  • Save
    Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
    Beaches, Parks
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Offering clean sand and calm blue waves, the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is a great place for an entire day out. When the swimming is done, make use of the shady picnic tables and public grills. Play basketball, beach volleyball, or horseshoes on the court, spend some time on a sand-swept playground, and then round the night out shopping and dining at any of the nearby venues. You'll be spoiled for choice.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Quick and easy: Both parking and bathrooms are hassle-free in this area, so don't worry too much about pre-planning where to touch down on the beach.
    • The sand can get incredibly hot, especially during midday. Make sure your kids have flip flops on, and that no one runs onto the sand barefoot before testing it out.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 159 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Bar-b-ques and Beaches Go Together. 19/04/2018
    • Very nice 19/04/2018
    • Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
    Address:
    1100 Seabreeze Blvd
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-2426
    Phone:
    +1 954-828-7275
    Other:
  • Save
    Tradewinds Park
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    A city park with almost too much to do, Tradeswinds Park offers something for every interest. To the north, find horseback riding trails, golfing, bike paths, a fishing lake, and children's train rides. To the south is Butterfly World, an enclosure with thousands of butterflies and many species of exotic flora and fauna alike.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Peacocks roam the northern part of the park. Approach cautiously, as they can be territorial. While they won't attack, they will sometimes run at visitors, alarming for a child.
    • Butterfly World is open daily and has only a slightly reduced entrance fee for kids aged 2+. Children under two may visit free.
    • Visiting in the evening during the Christmas season will allow you to see the annual lights display put on by the park.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 19 things to do in Coconut Creek
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Home of Butterfly World 19/03/2018
    • Great park with plenty for kids and adults 11/02/2018
    • Tradewinds Park
    Address:
    3600 W Sample Rd
    Coconut Creek, FL 33073-4400
    Phone:
    +1 954-357-8870
    Other:
  • Save
    Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
    Parks, State Parks
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Clocking in at 180 acres, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a quiet hideaway, perfect for cycling, hiking, camping, picnicking, and kayak rental. With a path to the beach and a coastal view, this gorgeous natural respite gives you a chance to get outdoorsy - and go local.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The water taxi ferries to the State park. Tell the crew in advance, as they only stop if they are notified to do so.
    • Entering the park costs a small upkeep fee per person. There is a slightly reduced family ticket.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 159 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A gem in the city 17/04/2018
    • Great Place to Spend Some Time 17/04/2018
    • Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
    Address:
    3109 E Sunrise Blvd
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304-3313
    Phone:
    +1 954-564-4521
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$6
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 18:45
    Other:
  • Save
    Funky Fish Ocean Camp
    Scuba & Snorkeling, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    With the distinction of being awarded one of the world's top children's programs, Funky Fish Kids Day is a day camp that provides a wide range of engaging and educational activities, on the beach and in the pool. Kids 4-17 can participate in beginner's snorkeling lessons, tie-dying, and boogie boarding, all while learning about the local coral reef eco-system.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The camp has multiple locations, so your reservation may be shifted to a different beachfront if your location did not have enough participants that day. (All are near each other.)
    • The camp runs from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM daily, and does require reservations in advance.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 110 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Fort Lauderdale
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Our Kids had a Blast! 23/03/2018
    • Great way to get some adult time on family vacation. 05/03/2018
    • Funky Fish Ocean Camp
    Address:
    801 Seabreeze Blvd
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-1629
    Phone:
    +1 954-712-9900
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 15:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Funderdome
    Game & Entertainment Centres
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Funderdome combines fitness with fun for both kids and adults. With aerial challenge courses, rock climbing, ball pits, laser mazes, sports courts, games and a playground, your tot or teen will leave tuckered out.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Check Funderdome's schedule in advance, as they offer a range of special parent-child events, as well as adult language and yoga classes.
    • Funderdome also has age-appropriate activities for children under three, in a separate, safe area.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 25 Fun & Games in Fort Lauderdale
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Rock wall and other main attraction closed 04/04/2018
    • No Fun At Funderdometh) 21/01/2018
    • Funderdome
    Address:
    1455 SE 17th St
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-1709
    Phone:
    +1 954-525-1816
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 19:00
    Thu
    10:00 - 19:00
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Sawgrass Recreation Park
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Sawgrass Recreation Park is known for its airboat tours. The airboat travels through the vast natural habitat of the Florida Everglades, and allow guests the opportunity to hold an alligator and check out stunning Florida panthers and black leopards.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Since they are about a half an hour away from the main beaches, the tours offer a hotel pick-up if you do not have a family or rental car. Call ahead to arrange.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Weston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place to try air boat inexpensively 18/04/2018
    • Tonnes of gators! 17/04/2018
    • Sawgrass Recreation Park
    Address:
    1006 N US Highway 27
    Weston, FL 33327-7700
    Phone:
    +1 954-389-0202
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:30 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Fern Forest Nature Center
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Nearly 250 acres of wilderness, and home to one of the biggest native plant ecosystems in Florida, the Fern Forest Nature Park is a host of boardwalks and trails alike. With more than 200 species of plants, 30 types of ferns, and a small science museum tucked away in the park, this is a nature-lover's paradise. Be sure to keep an eye out for tortoises as you go!

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The park provides complimentary bug spray. If you intend to go off the boardwalk, you should probably take them up on their offer!
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 19 things to do in Coconut Creek
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • We wanted to do something different 01/04/2018
    • One of My Favorite Broward County Parks 31/03/2018
    • Fern Forest Nature Center
    Address:
    201 S Lyons Rd
    Coconut Creek, FL 33063-6783
    Phone:
    +1 954-357-5198
    Other:
  • Save
    EZride Surf School
    Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Whether you are advanced or just getting your sea legs, EZride Surf School provides lessons for any category of surfer. Patient and helpful instructors make this school especially good for first-timers and novices.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • When you book a lesson, be aware that it's best to be flexible about the time - the instructor will let you know what time will have the best waves for your skill level.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 110 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Fort Lauderdale
    • Boys Said "10 out of 10 would do again Mom!" 14/04/2018
    • Awesome! Thanks Marcello! 19/03/2018
    • EZride Surf School
    Address:
    Sunrise Lakes Blvd
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33322-1504
    Phone:
    +1 954-803-7988
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 19:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Billie Swamp Safari
    Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Located on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Billie Swamp safari allows you to explore the land and its native animals while learning about the Seminole Indian culture. They offer four options to visitors: airboat, swamp buggy ride, a walk along the swamp trail, or paddling a canoe down the waters. In addition to the exotic wildlife, Billie Swamp Safari also puts on critter shows and animal exhibitions to enrich the learning experience.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The swamp buggy tour is generally longer and more informative than the airboat tour - recommended for families who are curious about the Reservation's long history.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Clewiston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • In The Middle of Nowhere 16/04/2018
    • Great!! 10/04/2018
    • Billie Swamp Safari
    Address:
    30000 Gator Tail Trl
    Clewiston, FL 33440-4303
    Phone:
    +1 800-949-6101
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    De Leon Springs State Park
    State Parks
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    A day trip from Fort Lauderdale, Ponce De Leon's temperate Fountain of Youth is a short drive from your hotel and open to swimmers. Nature walks, boat tours, hiking trails, and kayak rentals are all at your disposal.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Arrive early, as during the busy season the Park does not allow any more visitors once the lot fills - which it does, quickly. Parking is at an additional charge.
    • Start the day off right at one of the famous pancake joints in the surrounding area: Griddle House or Sugar Mill Grill.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in De Leon Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Place to Visit 17/04/2018
    • Loved the pancakes that we cooked on the griddle after the boat ride 11/04/2018
    • De Leon Springs State Park
    Address:
    601 Ponce de Leon Blvd
    De Leon Springs, FL 32130-3399
    Phone:
    +1 386-985-4212
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    09:00 - 17:00
    Sat - Sun
    08:00 - 17:00
    Other:
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